Intensive Behavior Intervention (ABA)
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a science devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior and is a scientific approach for discovering environmental variables that reliably influence socially significant behavior and for developing a technology of behavior change (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007). ABA services are open to individuals 18 months old to 60 years old who present a diagnosis of autism and/or other developmental disabilities. Intensive behavior intervention provides individuals who exhibit skill deficits and problem behaviors structured programs that provide a high frequency of interaction with behavior change procedures that are tailored to their individual needs.
Service begins with a functional behavior assessment of your child’s (or adult’s) abilities, problem behaviors, and skill deficits. Assessments consist of indirect methods (questionnaires, surveys, record reviews, and interviews) and direct methods (observation, VB-MAPP™, AFLS, descriptive analysis, and a functional analysis). Indirect assessment methods help our team construct a comprehensive understanding of your child’s needs and also formulate a hypothesis for why they are displaying problem behaviors. Once a hypothesis is formulated, the behavior analyst further assesses (via direct assessment) in the home or clinic setting to test and confirm (or not) the hypothesis.
Once the assessment is completed, a comprehensive report is composed then submitted to the funding source (parent, insurance plan, regional center, etc). The assessment report will provide an overview of the individual’s skill deficits, problem behaviors, targeted goals, and behavior change procedures that will drive further program development and implementation. All programs are structured to record quantitative and qualitative data, which are used to drive the decision making process.
Intensive behavior intervention programs are provided in the clinic, home, school, or community settings. Program monitoring is performed in the same environment the service is provided. The Clinical Program Coordinator (a board certified behavior analyst) will monitor data to decide the course of treatment, provide feedback to the Instructors, and train continuity of care with the parents/caretakers. All programs are implemented by PAL Instructor’s who all receive an initial training on the principles and procedures for analyzing and changing behavior, in addition to, a program specific training prior to starting intensive programing with a child (adult).
Individuals with autism can now access this service funded through their major health plans (Medi-Cal included). Go to Insurances for more information about the forms and procedures for accessing insurance services.